Bitbucket Review

Provides great features not available elsewhere but access to technical support is severely lacking

What is our primary use case?

We have around 700 users for this product in our company and a maintenance team of four people. I've recently put in an order to increase that to 1,000 users in the near future and hope to bump this up to 2,000 users down the track. We are end users of this solution and I'm the Head of the DevOps Engineering Center.

What is most valuable?

It's the code check in and code version controlling.

What needs improvement?

There is room for improvement in terms of the branching strategies. Instead of leaving the branching strategy for users to decide, Bitbucket could provide some default branching options for users to adopt. For now, users need to configure branching strategies from scratch as there's no template for the code branching. If they came up with a couple of default budgeting strategies, it could be used immediately. For example, there's a branching strategy called GitFlow, which is widely used in the market. It could be included in the tool as a template and adopted quickly and used immediately rather than having to create it from scratch. 

Secondly, when it comes to the code reviewer, there's no way to restrict the number of reviewers, it can only be modified by the project managers on the fly and we don't want the project managers modifying the code reviewers. It should be restricted to the tool administrators. This is another gap in the solution. They really need to give out of the box integrations to all DevOps tools and the cloud tools without the need for additional plugins.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using this solution for five years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This is a stable solution and has a very good backup mechanism. There's only an issue if you don't have your backup running and there is a hardware failure or if the database goes out of sync. If that happens, recovery of Bitbucket is very, very complex.We encountered an issue as a result of some incorrect commands triggered by our engineer and it was very difficult to recover. We had to engage the Atlassian product engineers and they also had problems. Eventually, we had to recover each and every line of code manually. If you're using Bitbucket as a code repository or a version controlling tool, users need to ensure that the necessary backup for the file system and databases is configured appropriately. If not, then your recovery will be impacted.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's a very scalable solution especially if it's hosted on cloud. The only thing is that the developers need to be aware of the number of code branches that they are creating, and carry out the proper housekeeping of the code. If that doesn't happen then the growth of Bitbucket will be enormous, and it might encounter some disk utilization related issues. I would suggest not to rely fully on the tool's capability for scaling up and down. Users need to be aware of what needs to be cleaned and housekeeping required. That aside, it's very scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support of the solution is problematic. If you subscribe to 24/7 support then you're fine. Otherwise they're available eight hours a day, not necessarily during your business hours. Unfortunately, there is no phone number to call the customer care directly which is frustrating. The only option is to raise a support ticket and then wait for them to reply; most of the time they try to avoid the calls and do most of the communication through the support ticket, which is very painful. I've worked for other large companies where they provide a dedicated phone number for customers and escalation of the ticket can be requested. Atlassian is a very poor support model

I've been impacted a couple of times. Even if you put in an escalation request you only get a reply when they get to it and turn on the escalation in their own sweet time. It's very difficult and frustrating. Instead of going for the Atlassian support, we paid a third party vendor, an Atlassian support partner, and we took an annual maintenance contract with them.

Atlassian don't want their customers dependent on them but want them to take up support services from their preferred support partners. There are different levels and if you need something urgently, they'll suggest you contact their premier support partners. It's not a good model and I would rate them poorly in this regard.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I still use Jira and Confluence and have done for many years. It's the same support model for all tools, just like Bitbucket.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not very complex. It took us about a week, perhaps less.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The price of Bitbucket is on the high side, but I think that's because of the tool's capability, which is justifiable. If you're purchasing for a smaller number of users then the license cost per user is definitely expensive, but if you buy a greater number of licenses, then it likely becomes a little cheaper.

Atlassian is a very clever company. They sell the base product a little cheaper, and on top of that they sell many important plugins or add-ons which you need but which are also expensive. You might think you have a reasonably good deal but the base product will not have some of the important features and if you look at the final cost, it's a little expensive. But the tool has good capabilities and very good features not explored by many other Git based version controlling tools like GitLab or GitHub.

What other advice do I have?

I would have given Atlassian a nine out of 10, but because of the technical support issues and pricing, I would give them a seven out of 10 rating. I wouldn't even complain about the cost but they really need to improve their support model. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?


Which version of this solution are you currently using?

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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